CARING FOR OUR WORLD LAUDATO SI – Pope Francis & Caring for our World

do908 laudato si' b

I was so thrilled to get my personal copy of this wonderful encyclical ” Laudato Si ” by Pope Francis.  Every paragraph nourishes the soul and sets challenges for us.

Below I have attached a pdf of the full text so you can download it to read for yourself. I suggest there is much in it that senior Students would find of great interest and challenge. I will attach further materials as I find them. The Irish Episcopal Conference produced and excellent pastoral letter “The Cry of the Earth” with an excellent resource for prayer and worship entitled ” Glas” ( Irish for Green !) containing assemblies and projects to work on.

Trócaire have a number of very good resources on Climate Change
See also their advertisement for their Take the Climate Change Challenge – which involves senior students participating in a weekend taking place at the University of Maynooth on 26-29 November 2015.  This weekend is for young people who are concerned about the effect that our changing climate is having on people and communities around the world, and want to find out how to get involved in tackling climate injustice in the developing world. The weekend costs £25-00 and the closing date for applications is 16 October 2015 – so need to hurry!  See more details at:


In order to raise awareness and understanding of what Climate Justice is and to encourage action to achieve it the SMA has initiated this Campaign which is being used at all SMA events and in all SMA Houses during 2015. It asks individuals to promise or pledge to be better stewards of God’s creation. People are asked to promise to take greater care of their own environment where they work or live and to use energy, food and other everyday materials more carefully.

Putting a thumbprint on a Pledge Sheet and reciting the Pledge (see below) is the formal act or sign of this commitment and all who do so also put their thumbprint on a Card which they keep as a reminder of the promise they have made. The Card has the pledge text on one side and practical suggestions on simple actions to care for the environment on the other side.

Thumbprint Campaign Pledge

Lord God, I pledge to take greater care of my environment, to do what I can in my own home and place.
I promise to use your gifts wisely and carefully, mindful that what I do today is affecting our world, the lives of others far away and generations yet to be born.
I place my thumbprint here as a sign of this pledge and I ask you for the strength to put it into action in my life and in the example that I give to others.
I make this prayer through Christ Our Lord. Amen.

.Thumprint Picture

SMA Thumbprint Campaign For Climate Change

Pledge Cards (4 per page)     Down load and print off for students to get involved.  Register with SMA

see webpage

.mark_poster     Down load to display in school

prayer-ls     Pope Francis’ prayer from Laudato Si.

prayer_service     Could be used after viewing the video.

Please find attached a poster from the SMA Justice Office inviting you to participate in the International  Day of Prayer for Climate Justice which takes place on Sunday 1 November. Please join with the SMA family in this intention and circulate this to anyone with an interest in this critical issue for the global community at this time.

International Day of Prayer for Climate Justice poster

Brill video to explain campaign



Have you seen   The Poverty and Justice Bible: Catholic Edition

1,635 pages, paperback

Almost every page of the Bible speaks of God’s heart for the poor, concern for the marginalized, compassion for the oppressed, and God’s call for justice. This unique bible visually highlights more than 2,000 passages that speak of poverty and injustice.

This is an excellent Bible for everyone who wants to take Pope Francis’ challenge to reach out to the poor seriously, and especially social justice groups, youth, and young adults. Challenging the notion that the Bible is a dusty, outdated rulebook, it shows that, on the biggest issues of our day, the Bible got there first.

  • Clear and accessible NRSV text
  • Highlighted verses to clarify your understanding of God’s passion for social justice.
  • A unique 56-page study guide to support your individual research and group discussion.
  • Practical suggestions on how you can make a difference in the lives of the poor and the oppressed.



Arch Bishop Eamon at Knock recently said ….

“In recent weeks I’ve been reflecting on Laudato Si (Praise Be), the recently published encyclical of Pope Francis about care for the earth – our common home.  In it Pope Francis describes the ‘cry of the earth’ because of irresponsible plundering and pollution of the world’s goods and resources.  He also speaks about the ‘cry of the poor’ who suffer most because of the deterioration of the environment.  He questions: ‘What kind of world are we leaving to our children and our grandchildren?’
In Laudato Si I can hear today’s successor of Saint Peter sounding like his ancient predecessor, once more calling on Christians to be ‘a people set apart’.  Pope Francis wants us to commit to living a prophetic lifestyle – one of moderation in our use of the earth’s resources.  The Holy Father calls us to reject the thinking that amassing things and pleasures can give lasting joy to the human heart. Instead, Pope Francis says: ‘learn to appreciate the beauty of nature and creation; realise how much all of us on this planet need each other; be at peace with who we are and what we have and own; savour each moment of every day; and, as Saint Therese recommended, do the little things well and with love, where possible making do with a little less.’
Typically, Pope Francis is never depressing even though he is addressing such a complex and perplexing global problem. He says: ‘All is not lost.  Human beings, while capable of the worst, are also capable of rising above themselves, choosing again what is good, and making a new start … No system can completely suppress our openness to what is good, true and beautiful, or our God-given ability to respond to His grace at work deep In our hearts.  I appeal to everyone throughout the world not to forget this dignity which is ours.  No-one has the right to take it from us (LS205)’.
( Homily at Knock Shrine  Feast of the Assumption 2015 )
Senior Religious Education :
Students might be encouraged to read some of the published reactions and reflections that have come since the Holy Father published his document. The Tablet in England had a whole series for weeks where people were invited to respond. Makes exciting and challenging Reading.
Check out the excellent Book  ” Praise be to You ”  Edited by Prof Eamonn Conway and journalist Cathal Barry.  This is a companion and study guide to the encyclical. It is available direct from the Irish Catholic. see their website.      priced €12.99

Top 10 Things You Need to Know about Pope Francis’ Laudato Si’


More Resources :

Canticle of the Creatures  : Christian Concern have this beautiful powerpoint on the Poem of St Francis ” Laudato Si


glas-resource    Brill book for reflections, Assemblies and prayer.
View video to go with GLAS

End of Year Graduation Resources

Yes it is that time of year again when  schools are having Masses and Liturgies to celebrate graduation and also to ask God’s Blessings on students sitting examinations.

Below are some resources you may find helpful :   

Prayer for Strength John XXIII

Reflections for Graduation



Graduation-Mass 1

Graduation-Mass 2

Marking Graduation Liturgy

Booklet of Graduation Resources


Whole School Assembly – Exams

Prayers for Graduates

The Song of the Seed

Listen My Beloved

Christ has no hands on earth but yours

A disciple’ Prayer

A woman dreamt

Leaver’s Mass

This is something to think about

A Prayer by Archbishop Oscar Romero

I arise today through a mighty strength

I see His Blood upon the Rose

Catching Rainbows


Like a sunflower

The Key to Love



When you’re worried, having trouble, try a “prayer of entrustment.”

Say, “Lord, I place this in your hands.”


Saint Columbanus 1400th Anniversary
This year 2015 is the 1400th Anniversary of the death in Bobbio of St Columbanus.
Born back in 543 A.D. in Leinster He became a monk after studies in Co Fermanagh.
He is specially associated with Bangor Abbey as a monk and teacher.
In 591 He decided to go on pilgrimage for Christ. He and 12 companions traveled throughout Europe.
His greatest foundation was at Bobbio near Genoa where after a lifetime of teaching and preaching the Gospel he passed to God in 615.
Please download the pdf files for more about Columbanus and to read some of his words.
Check out this utube video has a very nice soundtrack with slides about the life and ministry of Columbanus and Gallus.



This video is an attempt to look at what may have gone through the minds of Jesus’ disciples (and those nearest to Him) as they saw Him endure the events surrounding His passion and  crucifixion. The lyrics from the song, “Say Something” fit perfectly with the idea that may have pleaded with Jesus to just say something and stop it all; to use His divine power to put an end to the whole terrible situation that unfolded.

ST PATRICK 2015 I love this icon of Patrick which draws on the close links between the Desert Fathers and Mothers in Egypt where Christianity was flourishing after the dispersion of the Jewish People by Titus.  The Sinai Desert became the cradle of Christianity and the disciples who came there to seek God in solitude gave rise to what was later to be known as monasticism.  As all this was happening Patrick came to Ireland as a slave and later returned as a Christian Bishop to minister to the Irish.  Later disciples of Patrick founded similar monasteries on Skillig and throughout Ireland.

For Teaching Resources on Patrick please check the Archive section on the right for March 2014, March 2013 etc.

Celtic Saints – Patrick    Slide Presentation

Profile of St Patrick     Page outline of Patrick’s Life

St Patrick – a Reflection  A reflection by Fr Martin Coffey CP

Year 9 Drama for St Patrick’s Day Assembly      Written by Susan Morgan

St Patrick and Early Christianity   16 page Resource  1982 LRU  Stranmillis College.

LENT and EASTER 2015

As we get ready to celebrate this new Lenten journey to the Great events of Holy Week and Easter here are some resources for school discussion and assemblies.

Lenten Resources Booklet    40 Page s for resourcing Lent, Holy Week and Easter

Armagh Stations of the Cross   Pdf slides.

ASH WEDNESDAY & LENT IN 2 MINUTES.  Good introduction for students.

An-Approach-to-Lent  PPT for class discussion.

Stations for Armagh Archdiocese     ( 2 page leaflet of stations for personal and group prayer)


Year-group-Reconciliation Service for Lent.



Celebrating the Year of Consecrated Life

“Wake up the World!” – Pope Francis certainly has a way with words! His now-famous rallying call for the Year of Consecrated Life has reverberated around the globe since he announced that 2015 would be a year of prayer and thanksgiving for women and men who live a vocation to the religious life. ‘I am counting on you to “wake up the world”, he told them.

Read Archbishop Eamon’s Pastoral letter.

Pastoral Letter for the Year of Consecrated Life-1


Watch this wonderful video about consecrated life today.

Religious telling their stories;




CSW 2015 Cover

The theme for Catholic School Week 2015 is Catholic Schools: A Call to Serve

Dates for this Year : January 25 – February 1, 2015

Resources for schools will be sent out to all schools during the week of January 5, 2015

The theme for Catholic Schools Week 2015Catholic Schools: A Call to Serve, All involved in Catholic Education are called  to reflect on what we understand by service and how we live out the call to serve. We are all called as members of the school community to recall and rediscover the founding values; in other words, education is all embracing of our full personalities and never simply about transmitting simple facts. This year, school communities are encouraged to answer the Call to Serve; for example, by reaching out to those who are most in need in society.   Do try to celebrate this in your own school as well as participating in Diocesan Celebrations.

Resources to use and download :

CSW_Post Primary-Book 2015

CSW-Post Primary-Irish-Booklet

kindness-and-social-media-handout  +Eamon

Resource Pope-Francis-address-handout

CSW 15  Pdf of Powerpoint for Backdrop in Assemblies.

CSW 15   Powerpoint for Backdrop in Assemblies.

A Call to Serve.  ( Armagh Diocesan Celebration )
To celebrate all we do in our great schools we invite all school Principals,  school’s Religious Education Co-ordinator, two students and a member of your school general staff to a Celebratory Mass of thanksgiving in St Patrick’s Cathedral Armagh on Wednesday January 21st at 11.30 am . (Please note change in time from last year please.)

You will be invited on arrival to place a fresh bread baguette in a basket at the entrance to the Cathedral. Also the Planning Group would love if the Confirmation Class and in the case of Secondary Schools the Students Council might collect and donate a gift of £20 in an envelope for use in projects by 4 Religious Orders who will be our special guests that day. This year we especially remember and celebrate those who have consecrated their lives as members of Religious Congregations

Resources have been produced to use with R.E. classes for each of the school days during Catholic Schools Week: See downloads above.

Dundalk Schools celebrate CSW at the Church of the Holy Redeemer.


Advent slide small

Greetings all. Am posting some resources for assemblies and also class work during this special season.

Do check out earlier years which we posted on other pages.

Christmas & Advent 2014 Year

Blessing and Prayers for Advent Wreath

Things You mightn’t know

Jesus is Knocking at your Door this Christmas

Advent 14 Scripture

Beginning of Advent in School

Advent 14 Lectio

Below is a Slide in PPT for a backdrop

Advent slide

Pope Francis calls us all to mission. Senior RE Theme & Reflection

Model is Servant Leadership

Through Baptism, we are united to Christ and made sharers in his risen life. As Christians, the way of servant leadership modelled by our Teacher and Lord becomes our own. All that is asked on our part is faithfulness to love of God and neighbour. Drawing strength from our union with Christ through his Church, we serve and lead, while encouraging others to grow and use their gifts for building up the body of believers

Download PDF Liturgy for Class reflection & Worship

Servant Leadership Liturgy

After Reading the Word of God from Isaiah  watch the video  ” Send Me  – I’ll go” below